Liturgy of the Eucharist

The Liturgy Of The Eucharist: Real Presence Of Christ

The Catholic Church teaches that the Eucharist is “the Source and summit of the Christian life.” (Lumen Gentium) All that we do, both at Mass and in our daily lives, should be directed toward the Eucharist.

Why does the Church take the Eucharist so seriously? Because Christ did. In the Gospel of John, chapter 6, Jesus clearly tells his disciples, “I am the Bread of Life.” In addition, He told them that all must eat His Body in order to have eternal life.

Many of the disciples said to each other, “This is too hard. We can’t accept this.” And they left. They left Jesus, the one who had  walked on water, who had cured the sick, made the lame walk. They believed He was the Messiah … but the idea of Him being the Bread of Life made them walk away.

Jesus did not call them back. He did not stop them and tell them, “No, you misunderstood me. Here’s what I really meant to say…” He allowed them to leave. If they could not handle this hard truth, they could not be His disciples.

Catholics believe that, at every Mass, the bread and wine we bring to the altar is changed: to the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. We call this “transubstantiation,” because the very substance of the matter (bread and wine) undergoes a change. While the appearance of bread and wine remain, the very substance is changed into the Body and Blood of Christ.

Why do we believe this? Because Jesus told us it was true. Why do we do this? Because Jesus told us to. When we receive the Eucharist, we are as close to Jesus as we will be in Heaven. We feast on this Bread from Heaven that is our Savior. Because of this gift, we grow in holiness, in grace, in faith. Receive your Savior worthily, for the King of Heaven and Earth is now yours.


Why Am I Here? To Become A Saint

“Why am I here?” It is an eternal human question. We all want to have a meaningful life … but what is that meaning? Young people, graduating from high school and college, ask this. We ask ourselves this when we are in despair, when we are hopeful, when we are lonely. It is the question of youth, of middle age, of the elderly. Why am I here? God answers, “To be holy. To become a saint.”

Of course, we all have our own paths in life. We have different jobs, different callings, different vocations. We go through various stages of life, and hopefully learn, as we go, more about God, ourselves and others. But God has only one plan for everyone: to be holy, to become a saint.

“Me?” you may ask. “Me? A saint?”

“Oh, no. That is only for really holy people. Extraordinary people. People who pray ALL the time. I’m not like that.

What is that like? What does it truly mean to be a saint, and why is God calling all of us to this? One of the documents from Vatican II, Lumen Gentium (Light of Nations), says there is a “universal call to holiness.”

[A]ll Christ’s faithful, whatever be the conditions, duties and circumstances of their lives—and indeed through all these, will daily increase in holiness, if they receive all things with faith from the hand of their heavenly Father and if they cooperate with the divine will. In this temporal service, they will manifest to all men the love with which God loved the world. (41)

Two sentences answer the question, “Why am I here?” But those two sentences are “heavy duty.” We must trust God, wherever we are, whatever we are doing. We must be open to faith, even when it seems dim and distant. We must acknowledge that our heavenly Father has a plan for us, and we must conform our lives to that plan. We must serve others always, making known to all God’s love for them in our daily actions.

“Why am I here?”

Therefore, all the faithful of Christ are invited to strive for the holiness and perfection of their own proper state. Indeed they have an obligation to so strive. Let all then have care that they guide aright their own deepest sentiments of soul. Let neither the use of the things of this world nor attachment to riches, which is against the spirit of evangelical poverty, hinder them in their quest for perfect love. Let them heed the admonition of the Apostle to those who use this world; let them not come to terms with this world; for this world, as we see it, is passing away. (42)

Go. Become a saint.